Author Archives: Virandi Wettewa

Avurudu fun and games

Avurudu fun and games

Being from a multicultural country like Sri Lanka has its perks, one of which is being able to celebrate several New Years within a given calendar year. The Sinhala and Tamil New Year falls each year in April, usually on the 14th, with the day before also a public holiday, as the last day ofContinue Reading

An arranged marriage to my rescue?

An arranged marriage to my rescue?

‘Like Christmas cake that is fresh up until the 25th but with each succeeding day becomes less appetizing and edible, women too lose their marital appeal as they pass the mid twenties mark’. You can’t argue with this old Japanese saying. At least not in Sri Lanka. You are raised as a little girl, warnedContinue Reading

It’s not death, but passing away from this birth to the next

It’s not death, but passing away from this birth to the next

There are two occasions where I get the chance to meet up with my entire extended family: Weddings and funerals. More recently, as economic constraints have taken their toll on the overly flamboyant Sri Lankan weddings, invitations lists have become shorter and shorter and funerals seem to be the only place where everyone comes together.Continue Reading

Kaffir culture: a heritage sustained through music and dance

Kaffir culture: a heritage sustained through music and dance

An often overlooked minority, the Kaffirs of Sri Lanka are African descendants who have been living on the island since the early 1500s. The word Kaffir literally means ‘non believer’ and unlike in most other parts of the world, it is not a derogatory term. In fact, Sri Lankan Kaffirs take great pride in identifyingContinue Reading

The Island of Public Holidays

The Island of Public Holidays

Flipping through the 2014 calendar, my mother mournfully remarks that there is just one public holiday each for the months of March and August this year. It is somewhat of a family tradition to sit around the table and count the number of public holidays for the coming year. For most countries, this is aContinue Reading

What makes a Sri Lankan beautiful?

What makes a Sri Lankan beautiful?

So, moving on from our obvious obsession with tea, I’d like to focus on another craze prevalent in Sri Lanka: the ‘fairness’ preoccupation. Fair skin is highly desirable, and it’s often a topic addressed blatantly with zero political correctness. My holidays in Sri Lanka usually coincide with the Aussie summer and winter vacations. It’s notContinue Reading

Elephant tales

Elephant tales

My first encounter with elephants in Sri Lanka (not that I actually remember) was when I was a few days old and I was carried under the belly of an elephant. In Sri Lanka, newborn babies are often carried under an elephant at temples for good luck. Elephants are a symbol of luck and grandeur,Continue Reading

It’s tea time all the time!

It’s tea time all the time!

“Pure Ceylon Tea” – now there’s a marketing line that I’m sure people throughout the world are familiar with. It often brings to mind a picture of someone elegantly dressed, sipping a cup of golden red tea poured out of some ornate porcelain teacup in the mountainous tea estates. Yes, we have the high teasContinue Reading

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